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Old 10-23-2020, 01:36 PM   #1
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

We have a 2018 Coachmen Freelander 21RS Motorhome. We "cannot" turn the knob to ON or OFF. It just turns loosey, goosey right or left. I have sprayed a mixture of soapy/water on the knob and around the valve area several times and not seen any bubbles. We get flame from the burners when turned on; and the flame goes out when turned off after cooking. No smell of gas inside coach. (I know propane is colorless/odorless). We have slept in the coach overnight several nights after this happened. The propane tank is somewhere between 3/4's and half full. I have talked to a propane tank propane service company. They said that it was difficult to release that much propane into the atmosphere before repairing the knob or replacing the valve. ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO GET THE PROPANE EVACUATED AND HOW TO REPAIR. We are in Nebraska and the weather will be cold the next few days; so will bring from storage to home and run the gas heater to use up some of the propane. Thanks for all your responses.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:18 PM   #2
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Can you post a picture of the valve?

It could be that the splines are just stripped out on the handle. Have you taken the handle off to see what's wrong?
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:44 PM   #3
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Propane tank Knob problem

Thanks Bama; I will try to get a pic; what are splines? The knob has a screw in the middle, do you just unscrew the knob to see the splines?
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:00 PM   #4
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Here's an image of a typical propane tank knob with the center screw/nut removed.

And while 'splines' may not be the correct term for this particular knob, you will see a square hole that fits the square part of the shaft on the valve. This is what Bama is referring to. It may be stripped out, (either the knob or the shaft) allowing the knob to turn but not turn the shaft of the valve open or closed. Some valve knobs have smaller splines instead of being square in the center.



Here is a photo of a sink faucet valve showing you what splines are... This valve has nothing to do with propane... it is just for reference to show splines.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:57 PM   #5
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As 5Picker said, some valves have splines and some have square stems. Either can get loose over time and round off. Remove the screw and pull the handle off and see if that's what's happened to yours. If it's just the handle that's rounded off you can buy just the replacement handle.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:36 PM   #6
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Bama Rambler and 5picker, thanks for explaining "splines," and how the knob works. I'll have the coach here at the house tomorrow and I will take off the knob and check out. If it is the handle: would Ace, Lowe's, Home Depot or Menards have them?
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:14 PM   #7
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Valve itself is likely seized and separated from the shaft.
Pick up a new tank and run your broken one till empty.
Probably more expensive to replace the valve than the whole tank if it is the standard 20# type.
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:29 PM   #8
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Valve itself is likely seized and separated from the shaft.
Pick up a new tank and run your broken one till empty.
Probably more expensive to replace the valve than the whole tank if it is the standard 20# type.
I think his propane tank is built into the motorhome. Not as easy to remove as a 20lb tank.
If thepeddler isn't comfortable with this repair, a local propane dealer would probably fix it for not a lot of money and they probably have the parts.
Just an alternative to the suggestions above.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:01 PM   #9
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

MtBiker Reverse Snowbird: Thanks for your replies. I should have mentioned that it was PERMANENTLY attached to the motorhome (68# tank). I have contacted a propane place that can replace the valve; but they want the tank empty before repairing due to it being so full (3/4 to 1/2). Any ideas on how to get the propane out to another tank; repair the valve; and then put the gas back in if possible.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:15 PM   #10
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The best way to empty the tank is to run the furnace a good bit.

There is a liquid port on the tank where it could be pumped out at, but most propane places don't have the equipment nor do they want the liability associated with the task.

Of course you could drive up to Yellowknife and wait for it to get to -40º and then you could just unscrew the valve and nothing would leak out.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thepeddler View Post
MtBiker Reverse Snowbird: Thanks for your replies. I should have mentioned that it was PERMANENTLY attached to the motorhome (68# tank). I have contacted a propane place that can replace the valve; but they want the tank empty before repairing due to it being so full (3/4 to 1/2). Any ideas on how to get the propane out to another tank; repair the valve; and then put the gas back in if possible.
Any propane dealer who supply LP to businesses, farms and homes with tanks in sizes from 500 to 1000 gallons will have the equipment to evacuate the tank, if not find another dealer. Small dealers like gas stations, truck stops and RV sales are not on the list.


This link will help : https://propane.com/where-to-buy/
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:55 PM   #12
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Scrapper: I'll give it a try due to the following:

Bama Rambler: I will be running the furnace (runs on propane) the next few days because it is going to be below freezing for a few nights her in Nebraska so I can keep it in warm inside. Hopefully that takes a bunch of propane. I can't get the MH into the dealer for winterization until the 27th. I made the appointment based on last year due to above warmer temps. LEARNED MY LESSON TO GET DONE EARLIER NEXT YEAR IN OCTOBER. All tanks are drained, low point valve open, all faucets open; under sink kitchen doors to be opened; I'll have at home so I can monitor and plug into electricity with battery disconnect on also.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:13 PM   #13
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I can't get the MH into the dealer for winterization until the 27th. . All tanks are drained, low point valve open, all faucets open; under sink kitchen doors to be opened; I'll have at home so I can monitor and plug into electricity with battery disconnect on also.
It sounds like you've already done the majority of the work to get the mh winterized. All you need to do is bypass the water heater and pump the RV antifreeze into the lines. You've probably got a setting to 'winterize' your rig which makes it easy. ForestRiver.com has a link to this video on how to do it yourself.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:31 PM   #14
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Thanks Reverse Snowbird, I saved the video to my winterization file.
I feel more comfortable having the dealer do it even though it costs; they have one fee for the winterization and dewinterization, $129.00 plus tax & shop supplies, so about $65.00 each.
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:28 PM   #15
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Good news?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
As 5Picker said, some valves have splines and some have square stems. Either can get loose over time and round off. Remove the screw and pull the handle off and see if that's what's happened to yours. If it's just the handle that's rounded off you can buy just the replacement handle.
The good news is that the handle is die-cast zinc or a zinc alloy. It's soft, likely softer than the brass valve stem. That means the failure is likely in the handle, not the stem.

Before evacuating the tank, either take the handle off or have a propane dealer do it. You may be looking a simple $5 fix here.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:08 PM   #16
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Thanks Larry-NC: Great thought; hoping this is the case; nice to get all these ideas eliminated before spending a lot of money.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:23 PM   #17
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Go to a propane service shop...typically propane fill store, and get a new valve installed. It's not that expensive, and the peace of mind will be worth it.

Propane exchange companies routinely change out valves on the "take-backs". It's not a big job. It will take 10 minutes and about $40 or so to get a brand new one.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:50 PM   #18
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Jim, thanks, we have A TSC store not to far away that I could call; good idea
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:37 PM   #19
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Jim, thanks, we have A TSC store not to far away that I could call; good idea
TSC stores are not a propane dealer/supplier. They sell tanks and refill them but do not have the equipment to evacuate propane from a tank.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:01 AM   #20
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Propane Tank Knob Problem

Scrapper: Thanks, you saved me a phone call. I'll have to find a close "Farmers Coop" and give them a call.
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